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Space Aliens Infiltrate Bay Area

Robert Sheaffer
Originally published in BASIS
August 1982
"Psychic" Maria McKensie revealed in an interview with "The Examiner" (the national supermarket tabloid, not the local paper) that space aliens disguised as humans are roaming the streets of San Francisco! "I discovered them two years ago", she says, "but I didn't reveal their presence then because I was afraid it would start a panic." Looking out her office window in San Francisco's financial district, she reportedly became aware of people walking strangely -- as if they weren't fully adjust

At the annual meeting of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific this week, BAS member Dr. David Morrison, who writes the NASA "Ask an Astrobiologist" column, reported that the number of questions about the "killer planet" Niburu and "doomsday 2012" questions have expanded astronomically, so to speak. David read some of the emails he has received, and they indicate a portion of the public is being seriously alarmed by the hype about these alleged future disasters allegedly about to impact Earth. Some have written about committing suicide, others have mentioned panic and anxiety attacks, and many have expressed great concern over whether the government is lying to them about the coming disaster. Take a look at the column for an eye-opening view of some of the fears and misconceptions held by our fellow citizens -- and Morrison's clear-headed and informative responses. Like Dave, I am outraged at the hucksters on cable TV and from Hollywood who are trying to make a buck out of scaring the daylights out of people with half-baked pseudoscience. At the conference, Dave used fear of Niburu and 2012 disaster scenarios as examples of why scientists and other knowledgeable people should step up to the plate to help educate the public about these issues. Pseudoscience DOES matter. Ignorance hurts people.
Skeptoid publisher Brian Dunning has instituted a new Youtube series of skeptical analyses of popular claims -- which are pseudoscientific. Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/user/volleybrian The first three posts include an analysis of the health values of wheatgrass, a discussion of the Pacific garbage patch (serious, but lots of misinformation out there), and the "2021 apocolypse". Spread the word.

armers are turning to water witching during the long Californian drought. The drought has lasted for two years so far, and desperate farmers are seeking assistance from dowsers in Firebaugh, near Fresno. Water witching, better known as water divining or water dowsing, is the practice of locating water, metal, lost objects or people using sticks, wires, rods, pendulums or other instruments. By any name, with any device, it has never been proven to work. The supposed success rate of dowsers is "100%", but the evidence is anecdotal. Not what I would want to rely on before spending thousands of dollars digging the earth on a "hunch". The dowser's responses are best explained scientifically as the Ideomotor Effect. Water Diving tests have been the staple claim of the James Randi Educational Foundation's 
Couldn't make it to Tuesday's Ask a Scientist lecture on Bigfoot? Well, eventually you'll be able to watch it on fora.tv, but until then, here's a bit of blog coverage to tide you over: The Snitch (SF Weekly): Ask a Scientist: Sorry, Bigfoot Probably Doesn't Exist. But If He Did, He Would Be Taller Than a Bear Metousiosis: Science Cafe: Eugenie Scott — Bigfoot and Other Wild Men of the Forest There was also a negative post from someone who didn't actually attend, and it makes for a glorious game of Conservative Bingo: -San Francisco bashing -insulting a woman's appearance -confusing separation of church and state with anti-religiousness -assuming morality requires religion -invoking

I recently trekked up north to Bigfoot Country. This prompted Genie Scott to request that if I should encounter Bigfoot, "Get an interview for my talk!" I traveled the Bigfoot Highway, visited Bluff Creek where the infamous Patterson-Gimlinfootage was filmed, and stopped by the Willow Creek - China Flat Museum, a center dedicated to local history, and Bigfoot lore. Unfortunately for Genie's talk, and cryptozoologist's worldwide, I encountered some fascinating anecdotal evidence, but I didn't encounter any historical evidence, or Bigfoot... California claims more Bigfoot sightings than anywhere else in the world. (Other cultures have different variants, such as the Yowie of my native Australia.) But does Bigfoot call the San Francisco Bay Area "home"? Like the USGS earthquake map, the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) have a Bigfoot map that pinpoints sightings reported throughout the country. According to this database, Big

It appears that a new movie is being launched, "Not Your Typical Bigfoot Movie", though it is not at this writing being shown in the Bay Area. It concerns the efforts of two Ohio men, friends, who are convinced that Bigfoot lives in the wilds of Ohio .Bigfoot MovieBigfoot Movie The New York Times says, "the film???s main emphasis is on depicting the everyday lives of regular, financially struggling folk who just happen to have an unusual hobby" and that the evidence of the two men is not "convincing enough to sway the opinions of skeptics, but that isn???t really the aim of this documentary. The Times review is at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/17/movies/17bigf.html?ref=movies. The film's website is http://www.notyourtypicalbigfootmovie.com/, and another review of the movie can be found at the Salon site, at 
From the Bay Area's number one news source... craigslist:
Hey guys. Today was amazing. I can't really write too much about it for I have been talking about it all day, and into the night with folks. Some shit is going down. I don't know whether this is preliminary surveilance or I don;t know, The Galactic Federation of Light scoping the scene pre-October 14th, but a good friend of mine and I were at the park today and saw several unidentified flying objects. They looked exactly like the white lights in the day sky over Guadalajara from 2004. They formed a perfect isosceles triangle over Dolores Park, and many appeared afterwards. Later on, I guess about two hours ago, they came back. The same friend I was with earlier in the day called to tell me they were out in the sky again, I ran up to my roof and saw them as well. This time at night. She saw what had to have been a thousand in a fleet over near Potrero Hill. And I saw around 10 near the mission from my roof. They move together, and fast, but they will pause and cease to travel if you stare at them for a long enough time. There was a huge streak unlike that of a shooting star or burning up space debris(I know what that looks like), and they all disappeared. This is no joke, no lie, no delusion. I have seen it along with my friend. On

Bigfoot Foot Cast

Bigfoot Foot Cast

I was recently invited to give a presentation at "Ask a Scientist", which I am looking forward to. As a physical anthropologist, I have long been fascinated by Bigfoot, Yeti, and other alleged relic primates living in remote locations. I would absolutely LOVE it if someone actually found a Yeti, or a Bigfoot. What could possibly be more exciting to a scientist than the discovery that indeed, populations of large-bodied primates, unknown to science, actually existed somewhere? What would be the relationship of these creatures to other primates, or humans? What physical anthropologist wouldn't be itching to look at the morphology, the genetics, the DNA? Alas, one does science with the head, not the heart. As much as I'd love to believe the existence of "wild men of the forest" as these creatures collectively are called, I won't believe it without evidence. As my former professor, Neil Tappen, once remarked, he'd "love to go on the SECOND Bigfoot expedition" -- the one held after the first succes

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